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SCHILLING: REHAB IS THE ONLY CHOICE

Curt Schilling faced reporters and an uncertain future. If the shoulder rehabilitation he reluctantly agreed to fails, he knows his career could be over.

And the one-time Red Sox ace denied that he was hurt when he signed an $8-million contract in November.

Speaking publicly Monday for the first time about his preference for surgery, the right-hander, 41, said he had to follow the team's insistence on rehab because he is under contract.

"I don't have any choice. If their course of action doesn't work, I don't pitch this year, and I may never pitch again," Schilling said. "I have to mentally get behind it and do everything I can do to make it work."

Owner John Henry said he thought rehabilitation was the best treatment, and, from what he has heard, there's "a reasonably good chance" that Schilling will pitch this season.

The club and the pitcher hope he can return around the All-Star break.

"He shouldn't be upset because we're trying to do what's in the best interests of Curt and the team," Henry said. "So I heard the arguments, and I felt we were doing the right thing."

Under review: Commissioner Bud Selig said he is still reviewing cases of players accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs outlined in the Mitchell report. Selig had said he hoped to complete the review by spring training but now does not know when he will finish.

And new Brewers closer Eric Gagne, identified as a user of human growth hormone in the Mitchell report, apologized to his teammates for "a distraction that shouldn't be taking place."

BOONE RETURNS: Bret Boone came out of retirement to sign a minor-league contract with the Nationals, joining his younger brother, infielder Aaron, and their father, assistant general manager Bob, with the club. Boone, 38, hasn't played in the majors since 2005.

ANGELS: Closer Francisco Rodriguez, 26, heads to arbitration unhappy that he doesn't have a long-term contract and said that he might leave as a free agent after this season.

BLUE JAYS: Centerfielder Vernon Wells said his left shoulder is feeling close to "100 percent" after surgery Sept.25 shortened his worst season.

D'BACKS: Trot Nixon worked out and could be an option should Chad Tracy, coming off knee surgery, not be ready to play when the season opens.

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